Ride Along On The Road With Old School

Topic 9380 | Page 7

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Deb R.'s Comment
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You and your daughter look like you're having a great time, what a fun dad she has!

Old School's Comment
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I'm sure you didn't because you guys were on the wrong side of the state, but we're you by chance able to take her to see the tiger when you were in LA?

The Dude, we didn't get down that way. My daughter loves animals, and it probably has a lot to do with the way she was raised. I'm not sure what her reaction would have been to the tiger. She tends to think that wild animals should be free, so that may not have gone over with her very well. I think the tiger gets pretty good care given to him, but he is not free. I have enjoyed keeping a lot of domestic animals, and Abigail was definitely involved in their care, and in the bonding that goes on between humans and animals. Here's a shot of her with some of our donkeys.

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She and I have some really great memories together on the farm with our chickens, and other animals. She has a unique relationship with a cat named "Ralph," and a wonderful little Rat Terrier named "Trixie." If I had some more pictures with me of our farm life together I'd share them with you, but I don't have access to them right now. She is about to be gone from us for a year on a job she got at a base camp in Colorado, I'm seriously considering bringing her little Rat Terrier on the road with me, but I haven't made my final decision on that yet.

Old School's Comment
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Well, remember how I told you that I turned down a couple of loads and then landed a really good one? It was supposed to load on Friday. It didn't. Then on Saturday we fully expected to get rolling on our way up to Connecticut. Mid morning we got a call informing us that the load was being cancelled! That's trucking for ya! The only thing you can count on sometimes is that you can't count on anything! We were disappointed because I have got to get her back home by Friday of this week, and now it is going to be tough to do that with me not knowing where I will be going until Monday. Most of the time I have long runs and that is going to make it next to impossible to work the logistics out of getting her back home on time. So... we made the difficult decision to cut our time together short.

My dispatcher said he would share with me on Monday the list of loads that we had and I could write my own ticket to where I wanted to go - You've got to love this account I'm on! But, Abigail and I discussed it and decided we would go ahead and get her home now so that we don't run the risk of being late. I'm sitting in Delhi, Louisiana waiting on my next load, and that puts me about four hours from my home. We called my wife and she came and picked up Abigail today so that she could get home. We still had this weekend together though while I was doing a reset. So, what do you do when you are taking a 34 hour break in a small town? Well... you can take your daughter to the local nail salon to get a pedicure...

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Or you can walk around down town acting silly together and taking whacky pictures of each other to send to your friends on Snap Chat!

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You can also go to your favorite little old fashioned "Soda Fountain" lunch counter in the old drug store down town for a really good old fashioned Hamburger and fries!

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And you can also catch up on a few practical things like doing your laundry! Got to keep things in that truck ready for the next week ahead, you never know where you will be or what you will be facing. So when you get a break you need to prepare things so that you can take on the next week like a true professional!

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Yeah, we did all that and more, we even found time for Abigail to go running several different times while we were together - she loves to run.

I've enjoyed sharing these experiences with you guys. I wanted to show some of the new folks in the forum how you can actually enjoy your life out here on the road. It's a demanding job, but with some planning you can work in some fun times along the way. I think it is important that you do that, because it helps to keep you from burning out so fast.

I apologize that it came to such an abrupt end, but I'm going to continue on with the thread for at least another week or so. Many of you have requested that I show you guys how I run my loads, and do my thing out here, so I will just continue on documenting how I do things when I'm by myself. I look forward to sharing some tips and tricks with you as we continue this little exercise. Here's to many more pleasant miles together on this little thread!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

JJ's Comment
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To bad you had to cut it short with Abigail. I am glad to hear your continuing this thread though. looking forward to seeing how you roll for another week. clearly we can stop and enjoy ourselves a little out there when we have something we want to see. i was hopeing this would be possible.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
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All good things must come to an end. I'm glad you were able to have a good time with your daughter, and thanks for sharing! I look forward to continuing to learn from you :)

Christy R.'s Comment
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Well, shucks on having to cut your Abigail time short :(

Old School's Comment
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I have been off duty now for almost ninety hours - this is the kind of stuff that drivers quit their jobs over. I am on a dedicated account, and when I am busy I am really busy. But occasionally we run into some slow times if the factory we are working for slows down a bit. When I made the decision to do this dedicated account I settled it in my mind that I would accept the good with the bad, and hang in there for the long run to see how I could do on this account. So far it has been very good, with the added unexpected benefit of the fact that they close down the plant at Christmas time for some maintenance and re-tooling - So I get plenty of time off at Christmas!

This is one of the things that a driver should keep in mind when evaluating his job, always try to look at averages, don't just focus on short little times of frustration, but take in the whole picture. Look at your average monthly income rather than focusing on a bad week, or take a look at the full year, rather than focus on a bad month.

Now, I want to give you a tip on protocol when trying to communicate with your dispatcher. Always use the qualcomm , unless you are comfortable with the telephone. My dispatcher likes to use the telephone, but I like a record of what has been stated, just to avoid any confusion or mis-understandings later on. Any time your dispatcher wants you to do something that you think is illegal make sure and get them to send it to you on the qualcomm - chances are they will back down from that request.

If you are frustrated like I am today, don't get angry and send them nasty messages. Don't get on the phone and tell them off. I try to make up something comical that will get their attention, while at the same time letting them know you want to get rolling. If you send them something like that on the qualcomm and then sit back and wait patiently you will get some results. Here's what I did today - I sent the following message:

There once was a driver at Knight, who handled his loads with delight. Then all of a sudden everything halted he was afraid his account had defaulted. He sat for days at the Pilot forlorn, hoping for a load with each new morn. He began to think he had done something wrong, why else would they have him sitting so long? But surely they wanted him on the go, patiently he waits for them to let him know. He's got bills to pay, and so do they, so they both need to be making some hay. They've always come through in the past, he's no reason to think this will last. But while he is waiting he can't help but wonder, when they'll be telling him to head over yonder!

Guess what? In about thirty minutes I had a call from dispatch letting me know they had gotten a load together for me going right back up to Connecticut! The very load that had gotten cancelled on me the other day is now alive and will be ready for me to pick up later today. They changed the first stop to Riverdale, New Jersey instead of Southington, CT, but the final stop is still in Farmington, CT. It is a great load and a route that I am very familiar with.

The point I'm trying to make is that you don't get anywhere by badgering your dispatcher to death - it only builds contempt in your dispatchers attitude toward you, and that is the last thing you want to be doing. Your dispatcher wants you to be moving, that shows that he is doing a good job, and his performance is measured just like yours is - he needs to be able to prove that he is moving freight efficiently and profitably with the drivers on his board. Next time you are frustrated with your situation, try to insert a little humor in your communications with your dispatcher. This strategy has always worked for me, and I have tried it with several different dispatchers over the years. It is a tried and true method.

I'll update you on this load as it progresses along.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
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The humorous poem is a great idea! Man, sitting that long is ridiculous though unless you're in Vegas, Southern California, or the Florida Keys.

Old School's Comment
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Haha! Yeah there's not a lot happening in Delhi, Louisiana.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
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Do you think the poem spurred them into finding you something, or do you think you would have gotten the same dispatch at the same time even if you hadn't sent anything?

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